Man on the moon..?

The only time that I can remember from my school days when they suspended lessons for us to watch something on TV together was when this happened...

Man on the Moon

And I also think we all briefly went outside when Concorde flew over for the first time!


That dates me.

I didn't feel the same sense of awe and wonder - the specialness - about this last Thursday...

England Football

That's why I decided we wouldn't close early, or all watch the England versus Wales match together - despite what people might have expected, knowing me. Here's an extract from what I wrote to parents...

'I think all members of the school community are well aware of my views on the positive contribution that sport and its values can make on young people's learning and character development'.

However, in view of the current focus on school attendance and issue of holidays taken during term time, I do not feel it would be appropriate to either close the school early or suspend lessons so that the game can be watched live.

For me, this wasn't a truly special event, a once in a lifetime event, that it was vital for us to experience together as a community. Something that we needed to see. Something that I would feel guilty if I had not allowed us to see. Something that I thought all of us would equally want to see and should see. Something that I thought would bind us together and enrich us as a community united in a moment in time.

England and/or Wales will play football in the qualifying stages of a tournament that comes around every four years some time again in the future. Admittedly, they may not face each other, although the two countries do of course engage in perhaps Rugby's greatest and longest running rivalry at least once a year at either Twickenham or the Millennium Stadium...

England vs Wales

So for me this is what made the decision not to stop work in lessons very different from the one I took almost exactly for years ago when the Olympic Torch travelled through Newbury. That was special. Memorable. Truly memorable. Its specialness was in bringing us together in the collective, shared fun and enjoyment of the life of the whole school family that I tried to capture in last week's blog...


And it was also because we as a school community played such a central role in that special event for the whole of wider community too. We weren't simply passive spectators. We were an active part of it; we helped make it special...

Torch Relay Programme
Torch Relay Programme
Torch Relay Programme

I particularly remember the Olympic and Paralympic Painting Trial through the then newly opened Parkway shopping centre, culminating in a fantastic exhibition in the Town Hall...

Olympic Paintings

The poignancy of those paintings, by then Year 9 students, is really hitting home this week. Many of those young artists, because that's what by now they certainly are, are currently exhibiting their work in our A Level Art Exhibition, which even in its set up has already sown the seeds of next week's blog - watch this space, literally! But in doing so it also means that they are about leave the community to which they, alongside their fellow Year 13s, have contributed so much. And so creatively.

They really do leave a lasting Legacy, as 2012 intended.

And they have also created something sufficiently special that I think it is always worth taking time out to see...